All About the Breed Kooikerhondje

Have you recently fallen for the Kooikerhondje or do you simply love rare breeds? Learn all about the breed here, including: Breed History, Personality Traits, Train-ability, Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed, and Common Health Concerns.

Also known as the Kooiker Hound, Small Dutch Waterfowl Dog, Dutch Decoy Dog, and the Kooiker Dog, the Kooikerhondje is an intelligent and energetic breed.

But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you?

This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.


The origin of the Kooikerhondje can be traced back to 16th century Netherlands, where the breed was most commonly used to lure ducks and other birds into traps. Enthusiasts believe the breed to be a descendent of various Spaniel breeds, though this has never been confirmed scientifically or otherwise.

The destruction during World War II nearly forced the Kooikerhondje into total extinction. Baroness van Hardenbroek, a breeder, is credited for endless efforts that restored the breed to stable numbers.

In 1971, the breed was recognized by the Dutch Kennel Club. The American Kennel Club accepted the Kooikerhondje into its Foundation Stock Service program in 2004.

Today, the Kooiker remains rather rare outside of its native country, The Netherlands.

Personality Traits

Best known for its feisty and spunky nature, the Kooikerhondje is full of character. These small dogs are alert and territorial, and show aggression towards intruders. This breed is highly intelligent, yet stubborn, creating mild difficulty in training. As a pet, the Kooikerhondje is loyal, loving, and affectionate.


Due to its high energy and independent attitude, the Kooikerhondje can prove difficult to train.

While its not impossible to train this breed, establishing immediate dominance and trust is very helpful in successfully training the Kooiker. These dogs respond best to a stern yet gentle approach, preferably by an experienced trainer.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed

There are many benefits to owning a Kooikerhondje. This active breed is always on the go, and often quite entertaining to watch while at play. The Kooikerhondje is intelligent and with the right training, can be taught to perform most any impressive trick or task. When properly socialized, these dogs typically get along well with other pets and small children. As a pet, the Kooikerhondje is loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an excellent companion for most any type of person.

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a Kooikerhondje. These energetic dogs require large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so.

A Kooikerhondje not receiving the proper amount of exercise will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.

The Kooikerhondje has a strong instinct to hunt and will occasionally indulge in a good chase. When on the run, these dogs can be difficult to keep up with and may pose a threat to other animals, neighborhood pets, and small woodland creatures. The Kooikerhondje must be leashed or properly secured at all times when outdoors.

As previously mentioned, the Kooikerhondje remains rather rare outside of its native country of The Netherlands. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, extremely high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.

Common Health Concerns

While the Kooikerhondje is generally known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: cataracts, patellar luxation - dislocation of the knee, von Willebrand's Disease - blood clotting disorder, epilepsy, and Hereditary Necrotizing Myelopathy - a degenerative disease similar to Muscular Sclerosis.

Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a Kooikerhondje?

Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.